The Culmination of a Long Dream: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 34

Editor’s note this chapter is of particular interest to me as it recounts Lulu’s perspective in her meeting of her son Milo’s girlfriend, my grandmother Carrie Henager

Nov 12 — Yesterday Jessie and I went down to the auditorium to hear a very fine program in Memoriam to the American Army. When we got home We found Eilene and Milo there. After dinner we all went down to Lake Merritt to see the fire works which were very beautiful. [I remember going to see the fireworks at Lake Merritt as a child]. I was tired when I got home but stood it fine limping around on my sore foot which I scalded accidentally a few days ago. This morning I got up early and got Allie off and went back to bed I slept soundly awhile then the bell rang and when I got up and looked out I saw Joe standing there. I stepped in a kimono and opened the door. He came to see if I still wanted to go on with my classes and whether he should sign my recommendation. I assured him I still wanted to go on with it so he promised to recommend me for the position of teacher of sewing in the public schools. This is a truly beautiful day sunny and crisp and cool. It seems as if it is also the fulfillment out of all promises the culmination of a long dream. The end of an intensely interesting chapter and the beginning of another. May it begin and end happy!

Nov 14 – I went to the O. H. S. class Designing. It is growing more interesting every lesson.

Oakland Technical High School

Nov 15 – Did a very good sat house cleaning job. Studied in afternoon Uncle came over to see us.

Nov 16My 52 birthday I feel quite the same as I did yesterday. Jessie and Syl gave me a nice box of writing paper. Allie and Agnes went to the city Allie gave me an eversharp pencil. I bought me a set of hair combs. Lolita and Charlie contributed a box of Humboldt apples and Leo sent me a 2 dollar bill to buy me something with.

Nov 17 – getting Lolitas things ready to send. Jessie and Syl went to the country to make fence.

Nov 18 – Went to Dr. Blood pressure 190 still high. Called up 1520 Morton [Mrs Fryer’s address]. Every body all right.

Nov 26 – Sent Lolitas box very glad to have it off at last. Went down to Oakland and got the buttons for Agnes coat and sewed them on in even, so she would have something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Nov 27Thanksgiving day. I made the pumpkin pies and cranberry sauce and then came over to Eilenes to a fine turkey dinner. Dewey took me to a show at the Portola in the evening I went back to Jessies for the night. She came home for T.G. [Thanksgiving]

Nov 28 – I packed up and came over to stay with Eilene awhile. We have been cleaning house and washing cloths. Milos new girl Miss Caroline Hagerman [Henager, my grandmother] came over to dinner on Sunday Nov 23. We had a very pleasant visit with her She is small petite and pleasant quite nice looking and a nurse in the Letterman General Hospital. Milo says they are engaged I trust they will be happy.

Milo & Carrie c. 1919

Nov 25 – Visited Josephines school to get information on the sub. of supplies in the sewing classes. I enjoyed it very much and went to 1520 Morton [Mrs Freyer’s family] for dinner. It was very depressing for the place seemed so empty and dull with Irene gone. J. brought me home in the sedan. I enjoyed the ride. The weather was perfect we talked of many interesting things and parted friends hoping to meet again.

Nov 29 – Cleaning house at Eilenes 1415 Oak St San Francisco

“ 30 Sun — Eilene had Caroline Hagerman [Carrie Henager] to dinner. Later we went to a show on Haight St.

Monday Dec 1 – Helped Eilene wash. First rain of season. Very good

Tue 2 – Still raining and sunny by spells. Am going to Oakland to my class this evening.

3 — Wrote to Lolita. Milo and his father are in Colusa Co. Cal. Later went to Oakland and had a very instructive lesson on The Psychology of teaching.

Dec 4 – attended Oak Down town school in evening. Enjoyed a fine lesson on artificial silk and decimal Fractions.

Dec 5 – At O. H. S. evening classes on Colors. Their fundamental principals.

Dec 6 – Still at Eilenes helping with the work.

Sunday Dec. 7 – Very quiet Christmas at Eilenes Syl and Jessie came over for a few minutes.

Dec 8 – Making Eilene a coat.

“ 9 – Tuesday evening class Allie came in for a few min.

“ 10 – Still at coat. Went to Divisadero theater in evening with Eilene

“ 11 – Class on Methods and review on silk Textiles

“ 12 – Our usual Fri evening class on Applied Design Miss Lellender our very eff Teacher giving us another interesting lesson on the blending and grouping of colors.

13 Sat. – Went up on Haight St and had my picture taken for the application for teachers certificate.

14 Sunday – Caroline [Carrie Henager] came and we had a nice dinner

15 – Washed for Eilene Sunny day

16 – Finished wash and went after the pictures which were not ready. I had planned to go direct to Jessies but this will change my plans. (Later) I went to Oak. Saw the Dr, the Notary and the Post Master got all the papers and went to the office of Mr Jacobs and handed them in then went out to Jessies for dinner. Had been there but a short time when J came. We all chatted awhile and he took me down to the Key Route station where I took train for S. F.

Dec 25 1919 Eilene had a big tree in the front window and all the family present but Lolita and Leo and their father who were all out of the city. We all worked hard to make it a success and so it turned out to be. Every one enjoyed it immensely We all got nice presents which were also appropriate and useful. I received a beautiful silk umbrella from the family. 25 dollars from mother and $5 from Milo and 2 from Leo 3 from Dewey so I can say Santa Claus remembered me. I also got a box of Chickens and sausages from Goldie and then got the news that their beloved and only son Richard was shot and killed instantly with a 22 accidentally discharged on the 21 of December. It was an awful shock to me. Poor Goldie who was so kind and good had to give up her only son.

Dec 30Went to Oakland to see the Dr. My pressure was 175 and my skin not better. He thinks my trouble is nervousness. He has changed my treatment. I went to Mr Jacobs office and turned in the letter Albert got for me from Mr Drew. Then I went out to see Jessie. Milo and Carrie were already there and we all had dinner consisting of Goldies chicken. Then Agnes and I went to the Oakland auditorium to hear Alice Gentle in the Messiah. It was very grand and impressive. That night I spent at Jessies and returned to San Francisco

Oakland Tribune Dec 26 1919

Dec 31. Allie and Agnes accompanied me and in the evening we all drove down Market st to see the fun such an abandon of formalities. Every one tried to out do the other in making the last day of the old year and the 1 of the new year a merry one.

Jan 1 1920 – At Eilenes. Dewey Milo and Caroline Henager present. Crocheted Lolita some holders which makes 9 I have made 3 for each of Lolita Caro and Eilene. I also crocheted 5 table mat covers for Jessie. Eilene furnishing the thread. So I have been quite busy the last few weeks. We went out for a little spin around the Park with the good old trusty Jeffries. It was keen and cold and foggy. The bunch are playing cards and I am writing this at 10.30 Good night. And may the year prove a successful one and may happiness be with us.

Jan 2 – 3 – Washing and cleaning house

Jan 4 Sun – Still cleaning up tiresome dull day.

Jan 5 – Schools begin. Carrie and I take a walk in the park.

Jan 6 – Our night school opens. I attend good class. Interesting lesson on psychology. J called at Eilenes soon after I left.

Jan 7 Wed – Busy as a bee at house k duties. J [Joe Richardson allegedly Mrs Fryer’s husband who turned out to be her widowed husband] Called in afternoon to tell me he had sent in my recommendation. I am so glad but not gay. I feel blue somehow. I hope every thing will turn out all right. Miss Carrie went back to the Letterman [Hospital at the Presidio] Milo is going tomorrow to Belden [Plumas County] to work. Albert was over to attend night school. Milo bought and presented to me a book on Textiles by Paul Nystrom. It is much better than the other authors we have been studying.

Jan 8 – Went to night school and had a fine lesson out of my new book on cotton.

Fri 9 — Went to night school in Oakland had a most interesting lesson on colors. Miss Lellander is a fine teacher and knows her subject well. She is going to try to give us a course in advanced costume designing.

Jan 10 Sat – Clear cold and frosty as so many of these winter days have been. Jessie and Agnes called a while last evening. Milo didn’t get started so thinks he will get off today. Am going to study a whole lot and try and catch up.

Jan 11 – I went over to Oakland to our class in applied design and found out that Miss Lellender was ill so we put in the time reviewing the previous lesson on colors their tints shades hues and near and distant relations. Mrs Percival gave us a talk on her method of drafting and we may take it up later.

Jan 10 – Sat work as usual.

11 Sun – Dewey came Attended regular classes as usual all week. Nothing of moment happened save on Thursday I was vaccinated as small pox had broken out in the O. H. S. I refered to our Friday meeting in a previous paragraph a week ahead of time.

Sat 17 – found us all still busy

Sun 18 – Dewey was going to give us a ride when the lights refused to go so we sat in the machine and watched the world go by awhile. The weather was ideal and we enjoyed the fresh air. Eilene entire household was present.

Mon 19Dewey left for Mare Island. He didn’t get to go to Siberia on U. S. Transport as he had desired to but may get to go later. Studying and washing cleaning house and ironing very busy day. Arm lame and sore.

Jan 20 – Attend class on Method as usual. Test paper and reviewed next lesson. Arm and side swollen and sore. Allies Birthday he is 30. The years continue to roll on. Long time since he was born in Rogers on a cold winter day.

Jan 21

Jan 22First rain for a long time. Put in the day on my lesson mixing water colors in a painting of various hues on paper to cut out in circle to make up the family circle of colors later ie. tomorrow night. I want to go to the library now to study up on the Jaquard loom. My arm is better. I helped Eilene with her sleeves and Leos pajamas. It has quit raining and is cloudy and cold.

Jan 23 – Last lesson on applied art by Miss Lellender. –Sorry–

Jan 24 – Sat with all that goes with it.

Jan 25 Sunday – Milled around home at Eilenes all day.

26 – Housework and study Attended class at O. H. S. on Method as usual on tue.  When I got back Eilene told me that J called after I left.

28 – More study and work.

29 Attend class on Textiles

30 – At home writing up notes on last nights lesson

Occasional dates [from this point on the Diary is occasional entries]

Feb 1 – went to Jessies in Berkeley

  “     3 – Eilenes birthday.  Jessie and I went over to S. F. and gave Eilene some birthday presents.  I came over to Oakland to class and Jes. went home to B.  I return to Eilenes.  Caroline Heneger is a guest.  Eilene, Carrie, and I visited Letterman Gen. Hospital had a pleasant time  I may have mentioned this before. 

Letterman General Hospital

Carrie is preparing to go home to her people in Orofino Nevada [Actually Idaho] in a short time.  She made Frank H. a fine bathrobe.  Eilene bought the stuff.  Carrie made Eilene a beautiful tray.  On the 12th she and Milo went to Berkeley to make Jessie a visit on the 13th of February 1920 they called me up and I went over to sanction and give my consent to their marriage. Milo and Carries Wedding Day. Carrie looked sweet in a neat blue outfit which she changed for a rose silk dinner gown later.  And so they leave me one by one. Only good old Dewey left single of them all.  Carries leave being up, she went north the next day as her army nurse’s transportation was void after that day.

Editor’s note: Milo wrote the story of going to work on the Feather River with his father in order to save up enough money to marry Carrie. I have these entries from Lulu’s diaries as well as the letters he wrote to Carrie while away. Very nice the way they all compliment each other. I cannot fail to note that both Lulu and her now daughter-in-law Carrie are accomplished seamstresses. Perhaps when Lulu’s dairy is finished I will recount Milo’s story “Sierra Sojourn.”

Kelly Wheaton © 2022 All Rights Reserved

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